Fish processing company Vísir, headquartered in Grindavík, has decided to close its plants in Húsavík, north Iceland, and Thingeyri, in the West Fjords, for five months beginning next summer. Nearly 90 people will be unemployed in the meantime.
Chairman of the Labor Union of the West Fjords Finnbogi Sveinbjörnsson is dissatisfied with the move. He told ruv.is that closing the plant temporarily will make it more difficult for its employees to qualify for unemployment benefits.
Vísir is the largest employer in Thingeyri (pop. 320) and Sveinbjörnsson said it will prove difficult for the plant’s 36 employees to find other jobs in the region for five months while Vísir is closed for business.
Vísir CEO Pétur H. Pálsson said the reason for his decision is the drastic cut in the cod fishing quota. The company’s employees in Húsavík told RÚV that they were glad they had not been given permanent notice and they were confident they would go back to work after five months.
The company’s operations in Grindavík, southwest Iceland, and Djúpivogur, southeast Iceland, have not been affected by the quota cut, at least for now.
Click here to read more about the consequences of the cod quota cut.